You can get slower connections of about 1.5 meg for a lower price. Higher speeds on DSL usually run about six meg. Some cables using fiber optic lines run speeds for residential up to 20 meg and they can sometimes be supplied up to 100 meg. Cable using copper wire usually tops at 6-10 meg.
Different things can affect the speed of your connection. Depending on how the system was designed, the time of day (how many people are using), and the type of media can affect it as well as the quality of the wiring.
There are a number of sites on the internet that will measure the speed of your connection. Two are speakeasy.net and speedtest.net. Both have relative easy interfaces to understand. Be careful to choose to run the test and not to scan your computer for other stuff or to download a program.
At speedtest.net click the “begin test” button in the laptop on the screen. At speakeasy.net you will choose a city, such as Atlanta, which starts the test. You will get an upload speed and a download speed.
When most people talk about connection speeds they are discussing download as most people have the most information sent to them and they send very little to other locations. Gamers and people that upload lots of pictures are the big exceptions.
The upload speed will usually be a lot smaller than the download speed. It is possible to get connections that have the same upload and download speeds, but they are expensive.
Send your questions to Dwight Watt at firstname.lastname@example.org. He teaches at a technical college in northwest Georgia and does consulting work for businesses and individuals. His website is www.dwightwatt.com.